Tennis hits the wall against top ranked opponents:No. 8 and No. 13 tennis teams headed for tough competition in preparation for regionals

The next court action for the Seward County men’s and women’s teams will be April 3 and 4 at the Seminole State tournament in Oklahoma City. The Lady Saints are currently ranked No. 8 in the nation, and men’s team is No. 13 in the nation. The men’s and women’s tennis teams will continue to play tough matches against top-ranked teams until the region tournament April 16-17. The Saints and Lady Saints started their seasons March 5 in a tournament they dominated, winning nearly every match they played. The eight singles players combined to go 31-1 in the one-day event against Kansas Wesleyan University, Bethany College, and Concordia University. Fanny Benincasa and Kauana Goncalves, the Lady Saints top two players, were a perfect 6-0, as Benincasa won her single matches 6-1, 6-4, and 6-1, 6-1, while Goncalves won 6-3, 6-1, and 6-0, 6-2. Newcomers Laercio Lobo and Nathan Nelmes won their matches 6-2, 6-1, and 6-1, 6-2 over Kansas Wesleyan and Bethany. “The women’s team tied for first in the tournament with Kansas Wesleyan University, and the men’s team won the tournament, only losing one doubles match the whole day,” Lady Saints player Antigoné Lowery said. “Everyone did exceptionally well, and our new players this season (Nelmes, Rafael Raw, Lobo and Goncalves) all went undefeated the entire tournament.” Head coach Darin Workman said the teams were nearly untouchable the first weekend of play. Saints player Christian Romanzini commented on the competition. “Bethany was a strong team, but Kansas Wesleyan wasn’t a hard opponent,” he said. “Concordia is a good team, but it wasn’t’ good enough to beat us. I think our team is playing very consistent, and I’m hoping to put our team into the top 10 in the nation.” Since the opening tournament, the men’s and women’s tennis teams have run into tougher competitions against tough opponents from Cowley College and Johnson County Community College. The Saints and Lady Saints came away with some wins over Johnson County, but each fell short against top-ranked Cowley.